Needlepoint Christmas Stocking Tutorial

6:03 PM



Carter's needlepoint Christmas stocking is finished and I really enjoyed making it. Knitting, you have a rival.

My stocking kit, The Hugging Penguins by Dimensions, arrived fully stocked with lovely 100% wool yarn, cotton floss, needle, color printed canvas, and instructions including stitch chart and color chart. I was amazed at the quality, the organization of the materials, and the price (unbelievably less than $25!). I would definitely use a Dimensions kit again and I'm happy to recommend it to you. But now that the stitching is done, it needs to be turned into a stocking. Blocking and finishing a stocking does not have to be done by an expert seamstress (I'm definitely not); a confident seamstress will do just fine. Below is a step by step tutorial on how I block and finish a needlepoint canvas into a stocking. 


But I may as well start at the beginning. Everyone in our family has a needlepoint stocking, and of course our newest member needed one too! Carter's parents ordered this kit from Amazon. The first thing I did was graph Carter's name out on paper using this free alphabet chart. After finding the center of both the name and the stocking, I worked out from there using the counted stitch technique. I gave the project it's own basket. I found it easiest to work one color at a time using the basketweave stitch because I find it distorts the canvas the least. But as careful as I am and as even a tension I try to maintain, my finished canvas has some bias distortion and is rumpled. Perhaps a frame would avoid this but I don't like to use them. Anyway, all that will come out in the next step. 





The canvas above is completely covered in the basketweave stitch, but the stitching is not complete. The final top-stitching will be done after it has been blocked and dried. To block the canvas, submerge completely in lukewarm water until it becomes fully wet. Gently squeeze out excess water, lay flat on a terry towel and roll into a jellyroll to remove even more water. On a blocking board and armed with T-pins or tacks, stretch and pin the wet canvas to shape. Tug and pull and it will eventually succumb! Let dry in a warm shady spot; it may take a few days.



Now that it's dry you can add a few decorative stitches on top of the finished canvas. Outline stitches and French knots help define the intricate details such as the faces and snowflakes, and adding beads and trinkets make it uniquely yours. Above is the unembellished piece. Below, it's dry now and the top stitching has been added.


Now for the sewing up. You'll need bias piping tape; either make your own or purchase ready made as I have. Also, you'll need 100% cotton velveteen for backing (or sturdy wool felt or upholstery fabric) and 100% cotton fabric for lining. The kit comes with felt for the backing, but I prefer velveteen, also, I prefer to line my stocking. Fabric that is suitable for quilting is perfect for lining. Do not wash them. Cut the canvas to within 1/4" of the stitching. I didn't take a picture of this step but above you can see a little corner of what the trimmed canvas looks like.

With a zipper foot, machine baste the piping to the right side of your stocking, down one side, around the toe, and up the other side. Do not add the piping to the top quite yet. Stitch as closely as you can to the piping stitching going one stitch in to the needlepoint itself.

With sharp scissors, snip the curves every 1/2" up to, but no into, the stitching.

Cut the velveteen backing to shape leaving a generous 1/2" seam allowance all around to give you some wiggle room when stitching. With right sides facing, carefully pin all around.  Slowly machine stitch both sides and toe using the same stitch line as the piping, leaving top open. Trim and cut curves of backing. (Please don't look at the messy back of my needlepoint! In less than an hour it will never see the light of day again!)

Turn right side out and it will look like this.


Cut the lining, see above, making it 1/8" smaller all around as this will help it to fit inside the stocking a little better, however, do leave a few inches at the top for a cuff to fold under. With right sides facing, machine stitch lining all around leaving top open.  And this is where my pictures get sparse. I guess I got carried away with the task at hand and forgot my camera! But from now on you are on the home stretch. Next, you'll pin the piping to the  top of the stocking, all around, neatly overlapping at the back. Machine stitch in place.  Make a loop or folded tab for hanging. This goes on the "heel" side. Machine stitch in place. Fold down the lining cuff, slip lining fully down into stocking.  Carefully hand baste the folded lining edge to the top piping then slowly machine stitch this in place. Remove basting stitches. It is finished!





Using fabric glue I affixed some plastic snowflakes and a fuzzy pompom. Hugging Penguins is in the can!

The fabric glue is not completely dry in this picture, but it will be invisible when fully dry.

The link for Hugging Penguins kit from Dimensions.
A sweet little stocking for my sweet baby grandson.



For a tutorial on how to hand finish a needlepoint Christmas ornament,
please visit this post.






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15 comments

  1. What a wonderful tutorial, Kristen! I've often thought of trying needle point but thought it too intricate for me. I now think it is absolutely doable!

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    1. Oh, it's easy and very relaxing! I hope you do try it!

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  2. Thank you Kristen for the most informative tutorial on finishing the stocking. I just had to share it with my readers.

    https://www.facebook.com/Dianes-Stitchin-In-The-Mitten-1439608229635844/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for you very kind words on your Facebook page. I'm very flattered!!!!!

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  3. You sure did bring life to an already cute design. Your details made it extra special. What a blessed and talented hand-crafter you are. Thanks for sharing. I love Your emails. Dasha

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  4. It is beautiful!!!!!

    Carole

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  5. Wow. The cutest penguins ever. And so quick! When do you sleep, Kristin??
    (I think I already asked you this question but it still goes.) Chloe

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    Replies
    1. Ha! You should see us this morning, running around like crazy trying to get things done before our little guest arrives in an hour! He is spending two nights with us while his parents have a wee vacation. Looking forward to it, but my, he will poop me out.

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